Amazing Lessons from Parenthood : An Interview with Dr. Itai Ivtzen (Part 3/3)

November 03, 2015 by Coach Training EDU

Watch video here.

This is part III of a an interview series with Dr. Itai Ivtzan. As a Postive Psychologist who studies the connection between psychology and spirituality, Dr. Ivtzan spends a lot of time discussing the human experience of different life events. However, no amount of talking or discussion can truly get to the core or make you understand the feelings associated with

these experiences.

Lessons from Parenthood

Although he teaches topics such as love or compassion in this classroom, these experiences are something beyond words. He says, “We can talk about this until the end of time, but there are certain experiences that would allow you to understand it in a split of a second, much more deeply and much more meaningfully than days of discussing it verbally.” There are simply some things that words cannot express or help us understand, and that is the beauty of human experience.

For Dr. Ivtzan, it was the birth of his daughter that made him understand this difference. ”It’s the hugest cliche,” he says, “but it’s so, so true. I felt my heart melting in a way that weeks of meditation retreats wouldn’t create within me.” There is simply no better way to understand something, whether it be love, compassion, or being a parent, than to experience it for yourself. The feeling you get is irreplaceable and unmatched by anything.

Another important lesson that parenthood has taught Ivtzan is that “We continually get precisely what we need.” It is often difficult for us to distinguish between the things that we want and the things that we need, especially because they are not always the same. However, “if we are open to whatever comes along, and we accept it fully, as it is, for what we need, it is such an incredible lesson.” This is valuable to understand, especially in terms of being a parent, because children are our teachers. While it seems that the only lesson his daughter was teaching him for the first few months was how to survive with hardly any sleep, Ivtzan says he is excited to see what lessons she has for him in the future.

A Small Insight for Parents of Teenagers

Trying to shield your child from their experience is not always the healthy choice. Oftentimes, we try to hold our children back so that they are not harmed or so they will not experience pain. Ivtzan emphasizes that, “It is an instinct, and it is the most natural instinct in the world.” No parent wants to see they child in harms way.

However, when we accept the challenge of the child, especially when she/he is a teenager, they feel a greater sense of acceptance. “If we could just be there for them, instead of trying to change them as it happens, and we can offer them deeper acceptance, this is the greatest gift we can offer them,” says Ivtzan. Mistakes, pain, and failure are all part of the learning process, and the more accepted your child feels from you, the better off they will be when these difficulties come their way.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Itai Ivtzan or his work, visit

You may also enjoy the Helping Students Get Unstuck blog.

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